A round-up of the main news stories from this week. (And faux apologies to any distress caused by the mischief contained therein.)
Bank of England Appoints New Canadian Governor
Mark Carney has been appointed as the new governor of the Bank of England. The governor of the Central Bank of Canada and chairman of the Financial Stability Board, will replace Mervyn King next July. The 47-year-old Canadian national will become the first overseas governor in the Bank’s history. Chancellor George Osborne described Carney as “the outstanding banker of his generation” and “the most qualified person in the world to be the Bank of England’s governor.”
Affordable Flood Cover Under Threat, Insurers Warn
The government has denied that talks with insurers have collapsed over measures that will allow people in high-risk areas of flooding to insure their homes affordably. The news comes after another wave of flooding affected 800 homes, mostly in South-West England. The Association of British Insurers says that up to a quarter of a million homes could struggle to insure their properties next year when the current deal with the government to provide flood insurance expires.
Mortgage Approvals Reach Highest Level Since January
Mortgage approvals in October have reached their highest level since January. Figures from the Bank of England show that mortgage approvals for house purchases rose by 5% from September to just under 53,000. Remortgages also increased by 2.7% from the previous month. The figures suggest that the Bank’s Funding for Lending scheme is continuing to have a positive impact upon the housing market.
Payday Loans Charges To Be Capped (feat. “Where’s My Money!?”)
And finally: a U-turn by ministers will allow the new financial regulator to cap the interest rates charged on payday loans. Changes in the Financial Services Bill will allow the Financial Conduct Authority to set limits on how much payday lenders can charge. Lenders have been investigated by the Office of Fair Trading this year amid concerns that they are using aggressive debt-collecting methods and failing to undertake stringent checks before advancing their high-cost loans. Though such loans are usually short-term and are taken out over a maximum of 30 days, the annual interest rates can exceed 4,000%.
Also, on the Finance Blog this week:
- Postcode Lottery? East Midlands Residents Struggle With Credit Applications (See article)
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